Bear Bites: Ocmulgee Brewpub

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Image: Peter Garcia

The Appleation burger is served with smoked bacon and grilled apple slices.

Will Darragh, Staff Writer

Downtown Macon is home to some classic local favorites that serve burgers and other American food, so do they really need another burger place? This is the question I asked myself as I entered the Ocmulgee Brewpub located on 2nd Street right next to Bearfoot Tavern, which is an already established place to get a great burger.

When I walked into the Brewpub, I immediately knew that it was unlike any place I had been to in Macon. It’s the only place in Macon that makes its own beer. Before I even got a whiff of the food, I smelt the yeasty and hoppy aromas of fresh beer fermenting. That smell got me hungry . . . and slightly upset that I’m not 21.

The Good

The Atmosphere

The chic industrial look of the Brewpub complimented the visible fermentation vessels and the wooden tables and benches. It looked friendly, clean and fun. I could stay there and hang out all day.

 

The Service

Ocmulgee Brewpub is a craft brewery above being a restaurant, so they do service a bit different. Customers walk up to the counter in the back of the restaurant and place their order, then they take a beeper and sit down wherever they like, waiting for the food to be brought to them.

This system is different, but not bad. I personally enjoy minimal interaction between myself and a server, so I liked the order-once-and-be-done mentality.

 

The Drinks

This is not a review of the alcoholic beverages. My friends and I were all under 21, so we settled for sodas. The sodas, however, were not your regular brand name sodas. The Brewpub has a fountain full of fair trade-certified organically-sweetened craft sodas made by the Maine Root brand.

The sodas were a notch above regular colas, and having craft sodas is some condolence for not being able to have the craft beer.

 

The Fries and Sauce

The portions of fries were ridiculously generous. On top of that, they serve their fries with one sauce from their collection of tasty homemade sauces. I got the truffle fries with a truffle aioli, and I could not stop eating them: highly recommended.

 

The Questionable

The Burgers

Well, the burgers definitely were not bad, but they were not the best I have had either. They are definitely good burgers, but they fail in comparison to better burger places such as the Rookery, Bearfoot, or even some better franchises like Five Guys.

One thing they do have that could distinguish themselves is their variety of burgers. They have burgers made from beef, bison, lobster, turkey and vegetables. I tried the turkey burger, and though it was good for a turkey burger, it was not that satisfying.

 

The Bad

The Diversity

Their menu is essentially non-existent outside of burgers and fries.

 

Ocmulgee Brewpub is the kind of place that does one thing and does it really well. For them, that one thing is probably the beer, because the burgers are fairly average. Still, for the price, for the craft sodas and for the spectacular fries, they are pretty good in my book.

 

Rating

Will 3.5/5

Peter 4/5